Don't let the summer heat damage your skin

By Dr Rahul Chaudhary, dermatologist, Medcare

Published: Sun 31 May 2020, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 May 2020, 9:43 PM

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, summertime - especially pertaining to outdoor activities - is going to be different this year. The summer months cause about 80 per cent of the skin damage that one might experience throughout the year.
Is using sunscreen more often the only change we need to make when it comes to transitioning our daily skin routine for this season? The answer is: no!
The damage isn't just from sun exposure, but worsened by irritated skin from the heat as well as the sweat and pollutants that clog pores. All this leads to stressed and unbalanced skin. Tanning, pigmentation, and wrinkles are some of the many harmful effects of constant exposure to UV rays.
Each skin type - whether oily, acne-prone, dry or sensitive - needs a specific care routine and simple remedies can work wonders.
It is better to go low on make-up or powdery foundation during the summer if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
Cleanser, toner and exfoliator - Opt for a salicylic acid cleanser and use twice a day. Toners for oily skin contain ingredients that maintain the skin's balance while preventing irritation and dryness. It is also recommended to exfoliate your skin once or twice every week.
Moisturiser - Leaving this step out from your daily skincare routine tends to make your skin dry out and, in turn, rebound with more secretion of oil, which eventually causes it to appear shiny and break out more often. Always moisturise the skin with an oil-free, water-based moisturiser.
Sunscreen - Always use a water/gel-based, non-oily, broad spectrum SPF over 30 and repeat application every 2-3 hours when outside.
Cleanser and toner - Go for a gentle, soap-free cleanser twice a day and, if needed, a hydrating toner can be applied afterwards.
Moisturiser - Opt for a light, easily absorbable moisturiser to help strengthen skin's hydration and barrier.
Sunscreen - Look for a moisturiser with a broad-spectrum (2 in 1) sunscreen, preferably cream-based.
General tips that everyone should follow:
. Carry an umbrella or wear a broad-brimmed hat when outside.
. Avoid going out in the sun between 10am and 4pm.
. Cover your skin with protective clothing (ideally light-coloured).
. Wear sunglasses to protect eyes and surrounding areas.
. Make sure to drink ample of water to keep your skin hydrated.
. Include food items like citrus fruits, cantaloupe, melons, green and leafy vegetables, green tea, nuts and whole grains to your diet, as they will help keep skin radiant.
. Don't forget your lips - use an SPF-based lip balm frequently.
. Cool off with mist. Facial water is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that will soothe and hydrate skin on top of cooling you down.
. Take a cool shower. A cool shower after excess sweating helps to keep skin clear, decreasing acne breakouts.
. Prevent or treat sunspots and wrinkles: Use a good retinol-based cream or serum with some skin-lightening and antioxidant products at night.
. Mask it up. Summer is the time of year when it's important to absorb excess oil, deliver hydration, or calm heat-induced redness. Clay masks are beneficial for oil absorption and pore-clearing, while cream masks give parched skin the moisture it needs; gel masks can temporarily lower the skin's temperature to reduce redness and sensitivity.
. Be wary of excessive time spent in air-conditioning. Air conditioning steals moisture from the skin, resulting in irritation and itching.

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